BBC shooting new drama at York Minster

Behind the scenes in St William's College at York Minster

Scenes for the new BBC drama series Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell are being shot at York Minster and the neighbouring St William's College.

Filming has been taking place across Yorkshire since October and shooting got underway at the historic Gothic cathedral this week.

The filming has been backed by Screen Yorkshire's Yorkshire Content Fund, which enables major projects to shoot in the region, stimulating local production levels.

The drama is set in the 19th century at a time when the people of England no longer believe in practical magic - that is until the reclusive Mr Norrell reawakens interest when he causes the statues of York's cathedral to speak and move.  

"To have such a key role at the start of this series is fantastic for York Minster," said York Minster's marketing director Nicola Bexon.

"I am sure that the many families who visit the cathedral will be delighted to see it featuring so prominently, and we look forward to welcoming those who haven't visited before who are inspired to come and experience it for themselves.

"York Minster and St William's College have proved fantastically popular locations for filming period pieces, with Death Comes to Pemberley and Bill shooting here, but in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, the cathedral will be 'playing' itself, rather than standing in for another location."

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire, said: "We are delighted that York Minster will play such a key role in another one of Screen Yorkshire's productions. 'Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell' is the largest scale project that Screen Yorkshire has invested in and it will spend more than six months shooting in the region at an incredible range of locations across North and West Yorkshire including York, Leeds, Ripley, Wakefield and Rotherham.

"We are privileged to be able to attract such major productions to film in the region through the Yorkshire Content Fund. As well as showcasing landmark locations such as York Minster, which will doubtless inspire visitors to Yorkshire for years to come, the production will have a major economic impact for crew, facilities and local businesses such as hotels, taxis and restaurants.''

The series stars Eddie Marsan (Best of Men, Ray Donovan, Filth) and Olivier award-winning Bertie Carvel (Restless, Hidden, Matilda) in the lead roles.  

The series is directed by Toby Haynes (The Musketeers, Doctor Who) and the producer is Nick Hirschkorn (Five Children And It). It is produced by Cuba Pictures (Boy A, Broken) for BBC One and co-produced with BBC America, in association with Feel Films, Far Moor, Screen Yorkshire and Bell Media's Space. It will be distributed by Endemol Worldwide Distribution.